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Sylvia Earle - 126 Guests

South Georgia & Antarctic Odyssey

Antarctica Expedition

On this epic voyage, not only will you explore the famed white continent and far-flung South Georgia, you will also sail to the South Sandwich Islands, a chain of seldom-visited volcanic islands located 740 kilometres south-east of South Georgia. True to our spirit of adventure, we aim to explore these islands on Zodiac cruises and perhaps land in one of the wildest places on earth. This is a Christmas and New Year adventure that you're likely to remember and talk about for many years to come.


 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Attempt a landing on an island where there’s a chance to encounter a colony of around one million chinstrap penguins
  • Celebrate Christmas and New Year on this epic Antarctic voyage, visiting some of the world’s wildest and most remote places with like-minded adventurers
  • Become one of the very few to reach the South Sandwich Islands – a corner of the world so rarely visited

DATES / RATES

Rates are listed per person
Start DateEnd DateFrom EURFrom USD
Dec 02, 2024Dec 22, 202425,153 26,795
Jan 02, 2025Jan 21, 202527,124 28,895
Rates are listed per person
Start DateEnd DateFrom EURFrom USD
Dec 02, 2024Dec 22, 202425,153 26,795
Jan 02, 2025Jan 21, 202527,124 28,895


ITINERARY

Please Note: The Jan 2, 2025 voyage is a day shorter and ends in Punta Arenas

Day 1 Arrive Ushuaia
Arrive in Ushuaia, where you will be met by a representative of Aurora Expeditions and transferred with your fellow expeditioners to your assigned pre-voyage hotel. If you are already in Ushuaia, we ask you to make your way to your hotel. Check-in is from 3.00 pm. This afternoon, visit the Aurora Expeditions hospitality desk in the lobby at Las Hayas Ushuaia Resort, Luis Fernando Martial 1650, between 8.00 am and 12.00 pm, or 3.00 pm and 7.00 pm, to collect your luggage tags, and confirm if you wish to join our Beagle Channel and Isla de Los Lobos Cruise (sea lion island) tomorrow. Our team will confirm details regarding your embarkation day, answer any questions and provide you with information on where to dine or purchase last minute items.

Expeditioners arriving after 7.00 pm will find a welcome pack waiting for them at check-in. We ask you to visit our hospitality desk tomorrow between 8.00 am – 10.00 am. The remainder of your time is at leisure. All meals today are at your own expense.

Assigned accommodation: Las Hayas Ushuaia Resort or Los Acebos Ushuaia Hotel

Day 2 Embarkation
This morning, enjoy breakfast and check-out. Please ensure your cabin luggage is fitted with cabin tags clearly labelled with your name and cabin number. Take your cabin luggage to hotel reception, prior to, or at check-out. Your luggage will be stored and transferred directly to the port for clearance, to be placed in your cabin ahead of your arrival on board. Please keep any valuables or personal items with you throughout the day. Your morning is at leisure to explore Ushuaia. Those wishing to join our afternoon catamaran cruise, meet back at the hotel lobby at 12.45 pm ready to transfer to the port at 1.00 pm. Here we board our catamaran and sail the Beagle Channel, towards the city’s iconic Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse. Crossing the Bridges Archipelago we’ll slow down to watch colonies of sea lions and imperial cormorants sun themselves on the rocky outcrops, while gulls, rock cormorants, skuas, petrels, albatrosses and cauquenes are often sighted. Our cruise offers panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountain range, in
addition to hearing tales of the people and communities of the region.

Alternatively, enjoy your day at leisure and meet at your hotel lobby at 3.45 pm to be transferred to the pier for embarkation. Once onboard, you’ll have time to settle into your cabin before our important mandatory briefings. As the ship pulls away from port, we’ll gather on the deck to commence our adventure with spectacular views over Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego. This evening get to know your fellow expeditioners and friendly expedition team and crew at a welcome dinner to celebrate the start of a thrilling adventure to Antarctica.

Days 3-4 Drake Passage Crossing
As we commence the Drake Passage crossing, we make the most of our time getting comfortable with the motions of the sea. Our expedition team prepare you for our first landing with important wildlife guidelines and biosecurity procedures and start our lecture program to help you learn more about Antarctica’s history, wildlife and environment. Our wildlife experiences begin as we enjoy watching and photographing the many seabirds, including majestic albatrosses and giant petrels following our vessel. On sea days, you may can enjoy the facilities on board the vessel including the gym, wellness centre or the relaxing in one of the observation lounges.

Nearing the South Shetland Islands and the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula on the afternoon of day four, the excitement is palpable with everyone converging on one of the observation decks watching for our first iceberg. The ocean takes on a whole new perspective once we are below the Antarctic Convergence and are surrounded by the surreal presence of floating ice sculptures. The memory of your first big iceberg sighting is likely to remain with you for a lifetime. Time and weather permitting, we may attempt our first landing in Antarctica by late afternoon.

Days 5-7 Antarctic Peninsula
It’s almost impossible to describe the feeling of arriving in Antarctica. Spotting your first iceberg and taking a deep breath of some of the most fresh, crisp air on earth is an experience that will stay with you forever. Once we arrive, the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands are ours to explore, and we have a host of choices available to us. Your experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design your voyage from day to day, choosing the best options based on the prevailing weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities.

We generally make landings or Zodiac excursions twice a day. You will want to rug up before joining Zodiac cruises along spectacular ice cliffs or among grounded icebergs, keeping watch for whales, seals and porpoising penguins. Zodiacs will also transport you from the ship to land, where you can visit penguin rookeries, discover historic huts and explore some of our favourite spots along the peninsula. While ashore we aim to stretch our legs, wandering along pebbly beaches or perhaps up snow-covered ridgelines to vantage points with mountains towering overhead and ice-speckled oceans below. If you have chosen an optional activity, you will have the option to do that whenever conditions allow, and of course keen polar plungers will have the chance to fully immerse themselves in polar waters - conditions permitting!

In addition to Zodiac cruises and shore excursions, we may ship cruise some of the narrow, dramatic straits separating offshore islands from the mainland, or linger in scenic bays to marvel at sculptural icebergs and photograph spectacular scenery. This is a great time to enjoy the observation lounge or make your way to the bridge (open at the Captain’s discretion) for uninterrupted views of Antarctica in all its splendour. Keep an ear out for the creak and deep rumble of glaciers as they carve into the sea. Take a quiet moment to experience the wonder of this incredible white continent.

Day 8 Elephant Island
Today, if weather permits, we set course for Elephant Island, a half-submerged mountain cloaked with an ice sheet at the outer limits of the South Shetlands. We will learn the story of Shackleton and hear how his ship Endurance was crushed in pack ice in the Weddell Sea, before he and his men climbed into three open boats, spending 16 months at sea, finally making landfall on this tiny toe of rock and ice in the Southern Ocean on 14 April, 1916. We plan to sail past Cape Valentine to see the beach where the men first put ashore over 100 years ago. Weather permitting; we hope to follow the coastline six miles west to Point Wild, where the men eventually set up camp under two of their upturned open boats and some old tents. If weather permits, we will attempt to make a landing on historic Point Wild, Elephant Island.

Days 9-10 Scotia Sea
As we make our way to South Georgia we will cross the Scotia Sea, following the route that Shackleton and five of his men took in order to find help for the rest of their crew. On 24 April, 1916, they piled into the James Caird, the most seaworthy of their open boats, to attempt this perilous journey to South Georgia, some 1,290 kilometres (802 miles) distant. Shackleton hoped to reach South Georgia in two weeks. There he would enlist the help of the whalers to return to Elephant Island and rescue the men who had been left behind.

As excitement builds on our approach to South Georgia, catch up with fellow expeditioners in the bar, keep watch for wildlife alongside our naturalist from the various observation areas, or learn more of the Shackleton story from our historian.
“Nearly always there were gales. So small was our boat and so great were the seas that often our sail flapped idly in the calm between the crests of two waves. Then we would climb the next slope and catch the full fury of the gale where the wool-like whiteness of the breaking water surged around us.”
- Ernest Shackleton

Days 11-15 South Georgia
As you near the rugged island of South Georgia, spare a thought for Captain James Cook, who arrived here in 1775 and believed it to be the northern tip of a great southern continent! In fact, it is a small island only 176 km (110 mi) long, but with a 3,000 m (9,842 ft) snow-capped mountain range, some of the world’s largest congregations of wildlife and a truly fascinating human history, South Georgia is an island of incredible riches. On approach, jagged mountain peaks rise steeply, while seabirds are often spotted soaring around the ship. You will sail along the coast, taking in the spectacular glaciated scenery and enjoying a little shelter from the prevailing westerly winds. This enchanting coastline is yours to explore!

Zodiac cruise around craggy coves and along the rocky coastline in search of penguins, seal haul-outs and bird cliffs. Remember to keep an eye out for South Georgia’s kelp forests—these remarkable underwater ecosystems are quite mesmerising as their fronds sway back and forth on the water’s surface. Zodiacs will also shuttle you from ship to shore, where you can visit some of the largest king penguin colonies on Earth, take a guided walk among fur seals and elephant seals (making sure you listen to your guides and keep your
distance!) and wander along pebbled streams and grassy glacial outwash plains. We also hope to visit the remnants of South Georgia’s thriving whaling stations and visit the final resting place of Sir Ernest Shackleton, whose incredible voyage of survival is synonymous with this island. If you have chosen an optional activity, you will have the option to participate whenever conditions allow.

In addition to Zodiac cruises and shore excursions, we may ship-cruise through fjords with towering cliffs of ancient stone, or into deeply indented bays towards dramatic glacier fronts. This is a great time to find a comfy spot in the observation lounge to enjoy uninterrupted views of South Georgia’s majestic coast.

Days 16-17 At Sea
As we sail towards the Falklands~Malvinas, there is plenty to keep you occupied on board. Our expedition team will continue to share their wealth of knowledge about the wildlife, history and natural world as part of the onboard lecture series. You will have ample time to enjoy observing seabirds from the stern of the ship, keeping a close watch for whales and other marine wildlife, or simply enjoying the many facilities available to you on the ship.

Day 18 At Sea / Falklands~Malvinas
Sea and weather conditions will determine our arrival time into the Falklands~Malvinas today. The Falklands~Malvinas comprises two large islands (East and West Falkland), with over 700 islands scattered off the coast. All but seven of these are uninhabited, with windswept coastlines, white sand beaches and crystal-clear water. These beautifully barren islands are true wildlife havens, sheltering an impressive diversity of birdlife, including the largest black-browed albatross colony on earth. The cold, nutrient-rich waters surrounding the islands make this a prime location for spotting marine life.

Day 19 Falklands~Malvinas
There are many beautiful areas to explore across the Falklands~Malvinas, each offering a unique perspective on this magnificent archipelago. Your experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design your voyage from day to day, choosing the best options based on the prevailing winds, weather and wildlife opportunities. Even though we’re north of the Antarctic Convergence it can be quite chilly here, so you will want to layer up before joining Zodiac cruises into rocky coves or along sea cliffs, keeping watch for seals, sea lions, dolphins and penguins. On landings we may visit albatross colonies, penguin rookeries and perhaps even have a traditional English ‘tea and scones’ at a local cottage.

Conditions permitting, we aim to land in historic Stanley, the capital of the Falklands~Malvinas. This charming town has a distinctly British character, with terraced town houses, pioneer cottages and even an iconic red telephone box! Colourful buildings house cosy cafes, English pubs, souvenir shops, a post office and the fascinating Historic Dockyard Museum, with displays on the maritime history of the Falkland Islands, natural history and links to Antarctica.

Day 20 At Sea
As we sail towards Ushuaia, you may choose to spend your precious time editing photos, enjoying the onboard facilities, or attend final lectures. Celebrate the end of an unforgettable voyage with newfound friends at a special Captain’s farewell dinner.

With lectures and film presentations to complete our Antarctic experience, there is still plenty of time to enjoy the magic of the Southern Ocean and the life that calls it home. There is time for reflection and discussion about what we have seen and experienced. We hope you become ambassadors for the Antarctic region, telling your family, friends and colleagues about your journey to this magical place, advocating for its conservation and preservation so that they might one day visit the region to experience what you have been lucky to see and do here.

Day 21 Disembark in Ushuaia (The Jan 2, 2025 voyage is a day shorter and ends in Punta Arenas)
During the early morning, we cruise up the Beagle Channel, before quietly slipping into dock in Ushuaia, where we will be free to disembark around 8.00 am. Farewell your expedition team and fellow passengers as we all continue our onward journeys, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature.

Sylvia Earle (Luxury Expedition, 126-guests)

Due to sail in October 2021 our new ship honours the highly accomplished marine biologist, oceanographer and explorer, Sylvia Earle. As the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and named by Time Magazine as its first Hero for the Planet in 1998 - this vessel pays tribute to Sylvia's long standing conservation efforts for marine protected areas and ocean wildlife. Sylvia Earle will be actively involved in the development of her namesake.

(Click image to view Ship details)

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • Arrival transfer from airport to hotel on Day 1
  • One night’s hotel accommodation with breakfast in Ushuaia on Day 1
  • City tour in Ushuaia on Day 2 (lunch not included)
  • Luggage transfer from your hotel in Ushuaia to ship on Day 2
  • Transfer from pier to downtown Ushuaia or to airport on Day 25
  • On-board accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service
  • All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage
  • Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages
  • All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises
  • Educational lectures and guiding services from expedition team
  • Free access to our onboard doctor for consultations relating to sea-sickness. A standard fee of US $60.00 (reclaimable through your travel insurance provider) applies for medical consultations not related to sea-sickness
  • A 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket
  • Complimentary use of muck boots during the voyage
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information
  • Port surcharges, permits and landing fees

ADVENTURE OPTIONS (Not all activities are available on all voyages)
  • Sea Kayaking - USD 1,745
  • Snorkelling - USD 835
  • Camping - USD 165
  • Snowshoeing - USD 440
  • Paddling - USD 640

 

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DISCLAIMER: Rates are per person, subject to availability and can change at any time